Huge fee for flight date change.

12 replies

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Mar 2015

Total posts 261

My sister is taking 9 of her family in Business Class with Air. NZ to Honolulu. She has a family requirement to try to change her flights from June to April. The bookings were done through a Travel Agent and the total for 9 pax just to change the date was $ 22,300 AUD. That's bloody ridiculous!!! How can anyone justify that much just to change the dates and there were still more than 9 seats showing on Air. NZ's web site? Unbelievable!! Anyway as can be guessed she refused to pay that and has to stick with the original booking. Seems terribly unjustified to me !!!


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 83

It would probably be travel agents fee + airline change fee if not on a flexible Business ticket, + fare difference if she's flying in a more peak/expensive period. Multiply by 9 and yes it's quite a big cost.

Unfortunately that's just the way it is, part of the fare rules for whatever fare she booked, plus the terms and conditions of the airline and travel agent.



Member since 22 Jan 2013

Total posts 83

Unjustified and ridiculous are good words. Would love to see the breakdown of all the chargers



Member since 21 May 2014

Total posts 176

I am curious as to what the TA is charging out of this.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Mar 2012

Total posts 67

Maybe get some advice from ACCC they recently said they'd be watching airlines for unreasonable fees. Or at least mention that to the TA, see if that helps.


Member since 24 Dec 2013

Total posts 158

Business class fares to NZ seem to start at around $4,500. Most dates in April now cost $7,000. Multiply the fare difference by 9 and there goes your $22,300 change fee. Buying for 9 people would probably also mean that only the more expensive fare buckets (with availability for 9) would be available.

Last editedby anonymous at Feb 12, 2018, 04:50 PM.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 01 Mar 2012

Total posts 201

I agree with anonymous, the cost per PAX is $2477, the agent and most probably nor is AirNZ changing a change fee, from experience for J class they wave that.

It's just because its for 9 people in what is probably a small cabin and given the short time between now and April they are charging what is available. Maybe calling Air NZ to see what they can do might help, however I'm not sure how they will act if it is booked through a TA. I use a person within Air NZ to book all my flights so it is never a problem.

All in all it appears reasonable and what I would expect to pay to upgrade a fare at short notice.


Member since 13 Feb 2018

Total posts 6

Without knowing exact fare details it's pretty hard to comment but looking at it the fee it seems pretty reasonable.

Firstly it's not possible for you to know if there are more than 9 business premier seats available by looking at the Air NZ website so I'm not sure how or why you think there is.

For 9 pax that's only a fare difference of $2477 per person which will include the booking change fee and whatever fee the travel agent is charging.

As changing 9 fares will very likely result in more expensive booking classes as you've booked out half the cabin (there are only 18 seats) and pricing varies by $3000 R/T ex NZ from the cheapest J to most expensive C fare it doesn't seem unreasonable at all ex Australia remembering it may also result in much higher TT fares as well for the business class component.

Last editedby steveb at Feb 13, 2018, 06:48 AM.

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Mar 2015

Total posts 261

steveb Thanks for your and others input. I did a flight search on Air NZ web site on the days my sister wanted and there were 10 seats left on the B787 which is the most limiting so there were enough. I do get your point about the lower fares obtained through travel agents, whom they did book through and that it costs an arm and a leg to change them as the next fare tier that's available is always quite a bit higher.. I always book directly with the Airlines and even though it does cost a bit more there is some flexibility and its a hell of a lot cheaper if one needs to change. It all boils down to how much you want to pay up front and I prefer to book directly with the Airline. Unfortunately in this trip I'm not going and did not make the booking. My sister regrets not asking me to do it but that's history now. All that being said it still does cost a lot to change bookings either way. The only way to avoid this is to be sure and not change the dates!!! Easier said than done when there's 9 of you.


Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 264

Sister tried to change to a school holiday period. While 10 seats may have been available, they may have been the last seats and the most expensive in a higher fair bucket. An ANZ 787-9 only has 18 business class seats and you are wanting half of them. Booking with the airline wouldn't have made much of a difference in this case. Without all the facts, it is hard to do much more than guess. Was the original based on sale fares? How old was the booking before it needed to be changed? In any case with the information provided, I can't see how your sister has been treated unreasonably.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jun 2017

Total posts 2

More information required....


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jan 2018

Total posts 64

TAs are up there with real estate agents in the incompetency and dishonest stakes. I think that’s part of the lesson here.

Last editedby Covvers at Feb 15, 2018, 02:36 AM.

Doubleplatinum Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

Member since 07 Feb 2013

Total posts 431

People still use travel agents?

Not sure how it's 'bloody ridiculous' as you state, from above you will see the changes are standard issue and reasonable for the amount of seats in the mix. I'm sure you have bigger problems being able to afford 9 business class tickets!

Last editedby Doubleplatinum at Feb 25, 2018, 01:06 PM.

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